Reimagining Education

School Choice: Opening the doors of opportunity

Did you know that there is a nationwide movement to ensure that a child’s future is not determined by their zip code or income level?

The school choice movement gives parents and students access to high-quality schools that fit their learning styles and personal beliefs.

When families have educational options they will be empowered to make a school choice that meets their unique student’s needs. A student’s right to an education should include all high-quality options that will meet their needs.

The reality is that even the best schools do not meet the needs of every student for a wide variety of reasons, which is why the school choice movement is focused on giving the power to choose a school to the people who know the student best – their parents.

School choice is about opening the doors of opportunity and giving parents the ability to find the school that meets their child’s individual needs, whether that be a traditional district school, a public charter school, a nonsectarian private school, homeschooling or a private school of faith.

In Missouri, charter schools are currently only allowed in select areas in St. Louis and Kansas City, despite showing strong academic performance and parents and students in other communities asking for the right to attend a charter school. This is why organizations like CEAM are fighting for charter school expansion.

School choice advocates also fight for policies that return tax-payer dollars to families by allowing state funding to follow the student, no matter which educational system ends up working best for them.

A wide variety of studies have shown that increasing school choice and parent power over their children’s education have resulted in increased test scores and student achievement.

These goals are have been successfully achieved in other states through a variety of methods including vouchers, tax-credits, and Education Savings Accounts.

School choice can also include efforts to break down district lines and allow students to attend the traditional public school that meets their needs through open enrollment policies.

Increasing access to school choice is also great for teachers because it gives them access to learning centers that thrive by giving teachers the freedom to teach in new and innovative ways that truly connect with their students instead of bog them down with bureaucracy.

Check out next week’s blog to learn more about how Missouri compares to other states when it comes to school choice.

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